Recently, I received a mail advertising a free coin collection management service from NGC, one of the top grading companies for coins, comics and bank notes. The service intrigued me, as the video tour showed more features than my current collection solution, a set of Google Docs spreadsheets. So, I decided to try it for managing some of my coins, specifically my 19th and 20th Century dollar coins.
Registration for the Collection Manager is accomplished by signing up for a free account on their web site: a very simple process, and soon I received a confirmation email to activate the account. Per their “Congratulations” page, as a free member you get the following services:
- Access to their research tools: NumisMedia FMV Price Guide , the NGC Registry, the NGC Coin Encyclopedia and the Coin Grading Guide
- Access to NGC’s Galleries
- Certification verification of all NGC-graded coins
- The monthly NGC and NCS e-mail newsletters
After confirming my account, I logged in and started entering my older Morgan dollars, some of which I received from my paternal grandmother’s collection. The process for adding a single coin is as follows: you select if the coin is Owned, Sold, Wanted or Traded, then which company graded the coin: NGC, NCS, PCGS, Other company, or Raw. After selecting ‘US’ as the country, I can enter in search words for the coin to narrow the scope from their database. I type in “1885 morgan”, and I am presented with a list of over 30 varieties. I select “UNITED STATES S$1 1885 MS”, and the form gives me optional fields regarding the coin’s purchase history: location, date, price and fees, as well as the coin’s grade. I put in 40 for now: I don’t have the coin in front of me, and I hadn’t graded it previously, but the system will allow me to edit it later once I do.
I then press “Save and Edit”, which seems contradictory to me, but the site then takes me to another set of forms where I can upload pictures of the coin’s obverse and reverse, put in details on its purchase or sale (I added the email address of the seller I found on craigslist), or information about the coin’s storage: I typed in “C00127” for its location, per my own coin location system. After entering in a few coins, I accessed my collection: you can order the many columns of data any way you choose, you can sort by any of the columns as well, as well as enter search criteria. It is very flexible in this way.
Overall, I think this is a good service from NGC, especially considering it is free. You can also enter graded coins by their serial number, up to 50 at a time: for collectors with a great number of certified coins, this is a great time-saver, but not very useful for those collectors, like me, with mostly raw coins. A nice feature would be to accept a comma-separated file for bulk entry to get the basic data for their coins, then they can edit each record to use the more advanced features. I recommend other collectors to check this service out and see if it fits their needs.